Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How you can make a difference

Dear Colleague:

Libraries under 40,000 population now face a crisis brought on by the
Blue Ribbon Commission on Government Efficiency. For what ever
reason, Gov. Daniels seems to believe public libraries have
substantially contributed to the rise in property taxes and that
consolidation would bring economies of scale, i.e. bigger is better. If
we believe in local control; keeping our libraries in the communities
that started them; and not being FORCED to merge with another unit, NOW
is the time to act.

May we suggest the following things to do to stop this movement:
1. Figure your public service units - see attached sheets with the
units to be counted and the definitions of each. Send these figures to

2. Contact your county auditor or treasurer to find out what
percentage of the total county tax dollars goes to your library. Use
this along with PSU's (public service units) when talking with
supporters and legislators.

3. Notify your community about this threatened loss and encourage
them to write support letters, e-mail, or telephone with details of why
they like the library - service, geographic convenience, personalized
service, local control. We need to send bags and bags of mail to the
Governor's office to let him know he does not speak for our communities
and the voters there.

4. Talk, in a face to face meeting, with your local legislator and
supply them with information to show how libraries co-operate, are
efficient and are looking to the future. Provide these facts and
figures to convert the opponents. It might be helpful to take along a
community member who has a strong relationship with the legislator.

5. Collect stories of how the library has made a difference in
your patrons' lives and send the stories to the legislators.

We cannot depend on others to be advocates for small and medium sized
libraries in this crisis! The library representatives to the Blue
Ribbon Commission have tried their best, but unfortunately, the plan
seems to have been set in motion. The only way this can be stopped is
for the legislature NOT to back the governor's lead. Pick up your oar
and row! Talk to your legislator! Notify the ILF legislative
committee. Tell them our lobbyist needs to be more aggressive in
protecting library service in Indiana. The library community should set
the parameters of service, not an outside group.

This is the brain child of the signers below with help from the
Westchester P.L. Please let us know if you have questions, concerns or
need help with facts, figures, wording correspondence, etc. And most
importantly, thank you for your time and consideration.


Jane Ellen Felchuk, Director North Judson-Wayne Township Public

Carol Jackson, Director Culver-Union Township Public Library

Kathie Scott, Director Pulaski County Public Library

State Library Mission Statement

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